October 2012 E-Newsletter

Greetings from CNTO

Greetings to our many travel industry friends. Thank you for the favorable response to the September issue of CNTO Travel Trade Newsletter. It is our goal to keep you well informed about tourism to China, and to help you sell China. In addition to the monthly news, we will begin to tell you more about targeting high potential travelers to China. I hope that you enjoy this issue and we welcome your responses.

China National Tourist Office, New York

370 Lexington Ave. #912

New York, NY 10017

Email: ny@cnto.org

Director Yaping Xue


CNTO Study on Tourism to China

China Travel News

Upcoming Events

Airline Partner News

New Tourism Developments

Culture Corner

CNTO Study on Tourism to China

CNTO, through PhoCusWright, fielded a survey May 18-29, 2012, targeting U.S. adults who have traveled to Asia in the past two years or are likely to travel again in the next two years.

We surveyed a total of 30,513 individuals to obtain the target of 2,022 qualified responses, with weighted results calculated from a base of 2,092 (weighted N).

From this issue onward, the main results of the survey will be shown here in 8-10 issues of this newsletter.

Did you know that?

Travelers to Asia place a high priority on travel and have a strong ambition to see the world.

Two-thirds of intercontinental travelers who visited or are likely to visit Asia strongly agree that they want to see as much of the world as possible.

What this means to you is that experienced travelers to Asia have a high potential to value a visit to China. When you are reaching out to clients, remind them of their favorable experiences in Asia, and tell them of all the wonderful things they can see, do and taste in China!

China is a familiar destination to Asian travelers, second only to Japan.

Slightly over one fifth (21%) of travelers are extremely familiar with China as a travel destination.

So remember, people who have been to Asia are not only among your best clients for a visit to China, but they probably already know and like China.

China Travel News

Beijing to Allow Tourists 72-hour Visa-Free Stays

Overseas visitors soon will be able to enjoy a visa-free stay of up to 72 hours while in transit in Beijing to attract more tourism spending in the capital city. The new policy has been approved by the State Council and a timetable will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. At present, Shanghai allows some overseas visitors to stay for up to 48 hours without a Visa. In Shanghai, nearly 3,000 people enjoyed the 48-hour visa-free period in 2011, an increase of 78.5 percent from 2010. The 48-hour policy is available to visitors from 32 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland. The visa-free policy is expected to be extended to railways and ports next year.

Wall Street Journal Features Chinese Cuisine

No city in the world serves up Peking Duck better than Beijing. The Wall Street Journal recently profiled several outstanding restaurant’s in China’s capital city that offer this legendary dish. Click here to read all about it.

Hainan Set to Rival Singapore, Malaysia and Italy by 2021

The Chinese province of Hainan is on track to become one of the world’s leading tourist resort destinations by 2021. According to the report, ‘Hainan: Travel & Tourism Development Potential 2011 – 2021’ released recently by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), by 2021 tourism expenditures in Hainan will be roughly equivalent to that of Singapore today, and the industry will support as many jobs as in Malaysia and Italy today. In December 2009, China’s State Council issued a decree that Hainan in the South China Sea – the largest Special Economic Zone in China – was to be elevated into a world-class international tourist resort destination by 2020 and the Provincial Government is now well on the way to reaching these goals, according to the WTTC report.

Beyond Beijing: Brands Move into New Territory

The population numbers in China’s lesser-known (to Americans) metropolitan areas are as enormous as they are enticing, and some of the global hotel industry’s biggest players are eager to capitalize. Approximately 170 Chinese cities have more than 1 million residents, but just four – Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen – are considered Tier 1 in terms of size and wealth. Only 9% of the country’s population lives in these four markets, leaving what Jones Lang LaSalle defines as the “China50” – or the 50 second- and third-tier cities that will account for 12% of global economic growth during the next decade and will generate 6% of the world’s output by 2020. These cities are prime targets for hotel brands seeking to expand. According to JLL, the supply of globally branded hotels in these 50 cities grew by 19% between 2010 and 2011, compared to 10% in first-tier cities.

Zhangjiajie, China Launches Website Geared to North American travelers

The United States has the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone… and China has Zhangjiajie, a national park of other-worldly natural beauty that can be experienced by your clients in all four seasons. Zhangjiajie Tourism Board has launched a website designed specifically for North American travelers, in response to rapid growth in inbound tourism from the U.S. and Canada. The website, www.zhangjiajietourism.us, features a wealth of information about Zhangjiajie, which is located in the Hunan Province of south-central China, and which served as the inspiration for Academy Award-winning director James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar. The new website provides information about the area’s top scenic spots, what to see and do, as well as trip-planning details and vacation packages offered to travelers from North America. The multimedia section of the site also includes photos and video of the many breathtaking sites seen in Zhangjiajie, from the towering sandstone pillars of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the theater and dance of the region, and even the native macaque monkeys. The vacation packages section of the website highlights current travel packages, with both air-inclusive packages and land-only tours.

Mount Wutai Joins World Heritage List

China’s Mount Wutai became China’s 38th site to join UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a cultural landscape. Located in Shanxi Province, Mount Wutai is the highest mountain in northern China and is remarkable for its five open treeless peaks. Temples were built on the site from the first century AD to the early 20th century. The cultural landscape features 53 monasteries and includes the East Main Hall of Foguang Temple, a structure that was built in 857 during the Tang Dynasty (618-917) and is one of the oldest wooden buildings in China. It also features the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Shuxiang Temple with a huge complex of 500 statues representing Buddhist stories woven into three-dimensional pictures of mountains and water. Click here to learn more.

LeBron James Makes Ninth Trip to China

NBA star LeBron James, a big fan of Chinese cuisine, arrived in Beijing recently for a week-long trip. The reigning league champion Miami Heat play the Los Angeles Clippers twice during the NBA China Games, starting in Beijing and then in Shanghai. The itinerary is hectic, with VIP receptions, a trip to the Great Wall of China and other excursions planned. Both teams are trying to ensure that players and personnel have time to experience Chinese culture on their own.

Upcoming Events in China

From November 2 to 4, the FIA World Touring Car Championships comes to Shanghai.

The 8th Annual China Business Travel Forum International Commercial Travel Convention will be in Shanghai on Nov 6 and 7. Come celebrate the recent developments of China’s travel industry, and learn about the future of travel in China.

Airline Partner News

Air China Launches New Mobile Website

Air China passengers who point their smartphone web browsers to m.airchina.com can now check flights, purchase air tickets, view reservations, book special meals, and inquire about free baggage allowance policies, PhoenixMiles and find contact numbers of Air China’s outlets around the world.

China Southern Airlines records 10 million hours of safe flying

China Southern Airlines, the country’s largest airline by fleet size, said recently, it had recorded 10 million hours of safe flying. The carrier has recorded 13 consecutive years of safe flight operations, which accumulated to 10 million hours. It has carried 540 million passengers without incident.

Delta Announces Seattle Expansion

Delta is planning a new new nonstop flight from Seattle to Shanghai, as well as upgraded aircraft interiors with full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on key international flights. Proposed new nonstop Delta service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Shanghai Pu Dong International Airport will begin in 2013, pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

New Tourism Developments

China to Build More High-Speed Railways

China is aiming to build separate passenger and freight networks within its railway system, one of the world’s busiest. A high-speed passenger transport network is expected to become fully operational by 2015. According to a five-year plan on China’s transport system, China will create a high-speed railway backbone network featuring four east-west lines and four north-south lines. The total mileage of high-speed railway will reach some 11,185 miles (18,000 km) by then.

Asia’s Largest Ski Resort to Open This Year

Asia’s largest ski resort is expected to open by the end of the year on Changbai Mountain in northeast China’s Jilin Province. Covering an area of nearly 4.5 square miles, the resort has more than 26 miles ski runs and can accommodate 8,000 skiers at a time. The resort is part of the Changbai Mountain international holiday resort. The first phase of the project, which includes five-star hotels, a resort town and a cultural center, started operating in late July after three years of construction.

Culture Corner

West Lake – Pearl of Hangzhou

The West Lake cultural landscape of Hangzhou is located in the historic area of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. There are numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens, causeways and artificial islands within the lake. West Lake has inspired famous poets, scholars, and painters throughout the ages for its natural beauty and rich history, and it also has influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, and was described as reflecting “an idealized fusion between humans and nature.”

Copyright 2012 China National Tourist Office